Despite a spirited performance, St. Patrick's Athletic's Europa League campaign is over after they fell at the first hurdle to IFK Norrkoping. The Swedish side won the second leg 2-1 on Thursday night, meaning that a 4-1 aggregate scoreline sent SaDespite a spirited performance, St. Patrick's Athletic's Europa League campaign is over after they fell at the first hurdle to IFK Norrkoping. The Swedish side won the second leg 2-1 on Thursday night, meaning that a 4-1 aggregate scoreline sent Saints packing. Much like in the first leg in Inchicore last week, Saints produced a number of chances which could have changed the outlook of the tie. Conor Clifford and Gary Shaw almost threatened to break the deadlock early on before goalkeeper Brendan Clarke produced a great save to keep Jordan Larsson out at the other end. Clarke was in fine form and managed to produce further saves from Rasmus Lauritsen and Alexander Fransson as Norrkoping threatened to double their aggregate lead. They did just that on 36 minutes when Larsson found the back of the net from a rebound after Clarke saved from Fransson once more. 3-0 down on aggregate at the break, it seemed like Pat's were chasing a lost cause. However, this didn't stop them pushing for goals throughout the second half and they almost found one on the hour when Ciaran Kelly's header nearly looped into the net. Kelly had another shot on 68 minutes but his long-range effort went wide. Pat's finally got their goal after 72 minutes when Conor Clifford got on the end of a Darragh Markey corner and his rocket of a shot went in off the underside of the bar. Despite their efforts, the final nail in the coffin came in the 85th minute when Norrkoping substitute Karl Holmberg played a one-two with Gudmundur Thórarinsson before chipping the ball over Brendan Clarke's head and into the net. Saints were reduced to ten men in injury time when Kelly received a second yellow card. Harry Kenny's men will need to dust themselves down with a league encounter against Bohemians coming up on Sunday. An entertaining game and the reward for Norrkoping is a tie against Latvian side FK Liepāja in the next round.
League of Ireland